Offensive Explosion Leads Coyotes In 6-3 Win Over LA Kings

Shane Doan led the way with two goals, as the Coyotes chased Jonathan Quick and the Kings out of Arena.

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Coyotes Chase Jonathan Quick, Rout Kings In 6-3 Win

After failing to score more than one goal in four consecutive games, the Phoenix Coyotes responded in a big way, blowing out the Los Angeles Kings by a 6-3 count on Wednesday night, at Arena.

Shane Doan got the scoring frenzy started five minutes into what was a busy first period for both squads. Phoenix scored four of their six in the first, while all three LA goals came in that opening frame.

Doan's first of two came five minutes into the game, but was countered by Brad Richardson's goal two minutes later. The two sides traded punches in the first, with Ray Whitney giving the Coyotes a lead before the score was leveled again, this time by Ryan Smyth.

From there, it was all Coyotes.

Phoenix scored four of the next five goals in the game, with two coming in the first and the latter two coming in the second period. Scottie Upshall gave the Coyotes a 3-2 lead and Brett MacLean scored his first career NHL goal in his first career game, which came on the power play to give the Yotes a two goal edge.

New King Marco Sturm's goal would prove moot, as the Coyotes would add two more. Shane Doan scored his second on the power play before Kyle Turris added the final blow with his sixth goal of the season.

The two goal game for Doan was bittersweet, as he still failed to grab that ever elusive hat trick. Doan is fourth among active forwards in games played without potting three goals in a game. He had a chance at the end, but his redirect deflected off the pipe.

What might be most surprising is the fact that the Coyotes chased Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick from the game. Quick, a Vezina candidate to this point, allowed all six goals, despite coming in with one of the league's top save percentages.

A game like this certainly adds confidence to the Coyotes' lineup. On a night without Martin Hanzal, the Coyotes found a nice spark from Doan and MacLean, who may have earned himself some more NHL playing time after scoring his first career goal. Upshall's three points earned him First Star honors. The Yotes' top four defensemen combined for six assists, with three coming from Keith Yandle.

Wednesday presented just the kind of game the Coyotes needed at the right time. About to hit the road again after a brief stop at home, the importance of a young group cannot be overstated.


Phoenix Coyotes Host Los Angeles Kings In Last Home Game Of 2010

Having lost four of their last six, the Phoenix Coyotes will look for a quick turnaround when they host the division rival Los Angeles Kings at Arena on Wednesday night.

After a hot November, the Coyotes have failed to find consistency throughout the month of December, including a road trip that saw them win just two out of six games. They lost their return to Phoenix on Tuesday, in a 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

After a hot start, the Kings struggled a bit for a stretch, but have gotten right back to their winning ways, grabbing two points in five consecutive games. That includes wins against division foes Anaheim and the San Jose Sharks.

Los Angeles is led by the outstanding play of Vezina Trophy candidate Jonathan Quick between the pipes. Statistically one of the league's top goalies, Quick has four shutouts on the season, second only to Tim Thomas and Henrik Lundqvist, who have five. He ranks third in wins (18) and save percentage (.932), while coming in at second in the NHL with a 1.68 GAA.

Ilya Bryzgalov will start his second consecutive game for the Coyotes after missing five with an upper body injury. Bryz allowed three goals on the first seven shots he faced on Tuesday against Anaheim, but buckled down for the remainder of the game, saving his last 17 shots faced.

The past couple of games have seen the Coyotes at least slow the top line of their opposition. Corey Perry is the only top liner to break through against the Coyotes in the last pair of games, but they'll face a tougher test in a high-powered Kings attack.

Anze Kopitar has 14 points in his last 10 games, including five multi-point performances in his last nine, while captain Dustin Brown has 17 of his 37 points in his last 10.

They key won't be shutting down the top line as much as it will be stopping the flurry from the LA offense. They've won their last pair of games by a count of 8-1 combined, but have only scored in two periods. They scored four in the second against Anaheim on Sunday, while all four came in the third against San Jose.

Despite the offensive attack from Los Angeles, the Coyotes have to focus on getting the puck in the net. They've been held to just one goal in four consecutive games and are one of just two teams in the NHL that doesn't have a skater with more than 10 goals. The other is the New Jersey Devils. Martin Hanzal leads Phoenix with nine.

An offensive spark may come for Phoenix in the form of AHL callup Brett MacLean. The young forward was called up on Wednesday and is expected to play against the Kings, making it his NHL debut. In 32 games with the Rampage, MacLean has 31 points and 14 goals, both leading the team. Nolan Yonkman was sent down to make room for MacLean.

After start slow in Tuesday's loss, the Coyotes know what is expected of them on Wednesday. Phoenix won't return to Arena until 2011, when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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